Today, Jan. 14 is the 52nd birthday of legendary rapper, Slick Rick also known as "Rick the Ruler."

A Grammy-nominated British-American rapper, Slick Rick was praised for his comedic incorporation, rapping style and immersive story telling ability. His 1988 release, The Adventures of Slick Rick, achieved platinum status, as did his last album, his 1999 release, The Art of Storytelling. Though Rick has commented on the current state of hip-hop as "diluted" in the past, he sticks around in hip-hop's memory through mentions in a variety of rap songs, including songs by Lil Wayne, Lauryn Hill, Nas and Nicki Minaj.

The Ruler has had to battle for not only his music, but for his freesom. He was convicted of attempted murder and weapons charges for shooting his cousin in 1991 and served five years in prison. After going back and forth with being exiled from his home country (he moved from the U.K. to the U.S. at age 11), Rick celebrated a great victory last year. After a 23-year protracted legal process, Slick Rick officially became a U.S. citizen in 2016.

Happy Birthday, Slick Rick!

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